Thursday, September 21, 2017
The first and only time, I ever ran across a white caterpillar, like this was April of 2015.
Doc Graff and I were on a mission, to find and photograph the endangered Ryukyu Robin.
April is the best month to find them, close to the ground, feeding their youngsters.
We, didn't run up the trail because, we're a bit too mature, to act like teenagers.
We huff and puff and meander up the mountain and, enjoy the fresh air.
Taking your time, gives a better view of nature. We're very observant.
Doc, had gone ahead, to get closer to the waterfall when, I spotted this.
Climbing the trail, there's spots where, cellular service no longer exists.
It's like being in the wilderness which, I kind of enjoy. I was catching my breath.
Standing on this wooden platform, smoking a cigarette is what, I was really doing.
Whoa. It's like some little bottle brush, started coming towards me.
Forget smoking. Put the butts in yer pocket and, get down to shooting !
It's a good idea, to get photos from as many angles as possible.
You'd never know, this guy has red feet if, you didn't get down real close to him.
All along, I'm wondering, what kind of butterfly this creature would turn out to be.
In my pending photo files, there are hundreds of items, waiting for identification.
Yesterday, I sent these photos, to a couple of sites for help.
The Moth and Butterfly Identification Forum, on Facebook, came through today.
Chrysaeglia magnifica, was suggested by a gal named Lisa.
After checking several websites (with images) I think, I've narrowed it down.
This one, will be named Chrysaeglia magnifica taiwana, for the time being.
In no particular order except, the way the research got done, here's links:
Scientific Name: Chrysaeglia magnifica taiwana
English Name: It doesn't have one, yet
Japanese Name: (Rurimon hosoka) ルリモンホソバ
A hike all the way to to top of the trail, wouldn't have been complete, without photos.
We went, hunting for the Ryukyu Robin but, didn't see any along the way.
The falls and some white caterpillar, would be the only memories from that trip.
Coming back down the trail, I spotted someone, down by the river.
A nature guide and a woman, with a camera and a humongous lens, were in there.
She was shooting the birds, we had come all this way to capture.
See: Hiji Waterfall a Most Refreshing Climb for more.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Monday, September 18, 2017
Beautiful Skies Over the Island
Typhoon Talim, is way north of Okinawa probably, in Hokkaido by now.
This island got some wind and rain but, was spared the full strength of the storm.
Sore from lifting weights on the rainy days, I decided to just do cardio stuff today.
Getting Rid of Fat Ain't Easy
Over the past several months, plenty of inches disappeared, off of my belly.
People noticed and, have been asking me, how I got it done.
Changing my diet was half of the solution and exercises, did the rest.
Some folks want to learn the techniques, I've been using. I'll show some of my favorites, here.
Popsugar Says "Skip the Crunches"
She'll show you 7 abs exercises, you can do standing at Popsugar Fitness.
A medicine ball or dumbbells, aren't really necessary, just get creative, use anything.
Cement blocks, 2 liter PET bottles and, gallon jugs full of water, are in my mini-gymnasium.
Do everything, she does, with whatever weight suits you and, feel the burn.
In the photo above, she's writing the alphabet, using a medicine ball.
It's been so long, since I've handwritten a letter, I forgot how to write cursive !
Maybe, I should get a wall chart. Dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" and "j."
Someday, I'll have to look that up. Do "j's" get a dot over them? I do it, anyway.
Anyhow, I get a good burn, from this workout. It melts fat and, builds abs, too.
People Get Too Hooked on Technology
They have gadgets, to measure heart rate and all kinds of fitness whatnot's.
Smart phone heart monitors and junk on Smartwatches, you don't really need.
A big pile of sweat on the floor and, you're breathing hard, while your hair sweats.
That means, it's time to take a little break. Slow down and cool-off for five minutes.
What I do, is go outside and, when the breathing gets easier, climb some stairs.
The clouds, had moved around a little bit. I grabbed a smoke and the camera.
No Girly Exercises Here
Killer exercises for the abs and core by Yamon Figurs F16 on Facebook.
Hopefully, he won't get pissed because, I screenshot some of his video.
The first time, I tried this, I did everything he does, only slower.
No dumbbells are required. I use a couple of 2 liter PET bottles, filled with water.
After doing, everything on the chart he provides, with the video, I couldn't stand up !
If, you're out of shape or, way older than him, take it easy. It's killer exercise.
The video is popular, over 7, 647, 929 views, RIGHT HERE.
I bet, a few million of those views, were people just watching, to breakout in a sweat.
Starting out, I recommend, doing only 10 repetitions of each exercise. You'll see.
The Side Oblique, you can do, with anything heavy. A backpack or, gallon jug of cider.
Last Peek at the Beautiful Sky
To keep doing these sort of fitness, crazy things, you have to make sure it's fun.
Out side for a breather and a smoke, is fun, to me. I take a camera and climb the stairs, again.
The way the weather looked, I was tempted, to quit and go for a long hike. But, no.
There was something, I'd bookmarked and, had to try today.
Best Exercises to Ditch the Beer Belly
Right off the bat, they'll tell you, "Quit drinking beer!"
Supposing, it's against your religion? What are you gonna do? Switch back to whiskey?
Seven of the best fitness trainers, were asked, which exercises they'd recommend.
Some of them, I already do. Others, you wouldn't catch me doing. I'm stubborn.
Anyhow, here's one, that caught my attention and, it seems simple enough.
Get down, in a position like that gal, elbows shoulder width apart and, up on your toes.
Keep the back rigid and as straight as it will go. Look straight forward.
Hold yourself like that and, try to pull your elbows, towards your feet, for 20 seconds.
If, you can't hang-in for twenty seconds, not a problem. Relax and, do one more, later.
Well, I did it once for twenty seconds. Then, did one more. Done for the day.
It's called the Low Plank. Soon, I'll be doing 20-30 of them. I just had enough fun, for today.
More of these weight loss exercises are at Eat This, Not That.
Remember: Exercise Should Be Fun !
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Live House Dream
The place was shaking with loud rock and folks clapped their hands, while stomping their feet.
Because of the recent rains and passing typhoon, it wasn't as crowded as usual.
That made it a little easier, to get around with the camera so, I was everywhere.
Wanting to travel light, I only brought the Pentax K1 and a 50 MM prime lens.
The nine images used to make this animation were shot at f/2 1/800 ISO 6400.
Normally, I don't use ISO's in that high of a range, to avoid getting grainy photos.
But, it was necessary to get quick shutter speed under those lighting conditions.
Smoke on the Water
They were on the third set, shortly after 11 PM, when they did this number.
Deep Purple's, Smoke on the Water is probably, played by every rock band in Japan.
Aki sings blues too, in English or, Japanese. Take your pick.
Another favorite singer of mine, would be Willie Nelson but, I wouldn't hug the guy.
Aki's, a different story. I don't mind getting hugs from her.
She always, turns her face sideways when she grabs me and, I think I know why.
There's a diamond in her nose and, she may be afraid, I'll snatch it off of her.
Imagine, how many beers you could buy if, you hocked a genuine diamond.
Over 500 times, the shutter clicked on my camera last night.
An album on Facebook, will have some more of the evening's photos.
Each performer, I tried to get good quality images of, to post over there.
Even Aki's mom, was up there, singing on the stage. That was a surprise.
Before midnight, I had to leave, to meet some friends at a another location.
There's no telling, what time the Dream Live House finished up and closed.
About 2 AM, a flock of girls, with Aki, showed up at another bar.
It was a long, busy day, for me and, I knew I'd have to download the camera, early today.
So, I bid everyone farewell and staggered on home. Maybe, it was around 2:30 in the morning.
It seems, I forgot to ask if, the band would be playing live, again tonight.
While, the camera battery is being re-charged maybe, I'll stop downtown and see.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Few Weeks Ago
Walking the dog along a beach, I decided to take the flip-flops off an get a little wet.
The mutt, didn't want to join me so, I waded along the shoreline, up to my knees.
A the little runt, stayed ashore, tugging on the leash so, it was good exercise, I guess.
As I neared the end of the beach, to turn around, Boss, hollered at me.
"Mike, Can you bring your camera on August 15th?" So, I went and asked, "What's up?"
Boss is an alright guy, who picks a mean guitar, when he's playing in a band.
Now, I like Aki and Boss and my cameras. But, I don't like working for free.
When I was about to tell him, what sort of commission I'd be expecting, he made an offer.
First, I should explain. I won't leave my office, for less than a hundred and fifty bucks.
Shooting a little 2 or 3 hour live band gig sounds like easy work. It ain't.
It might take another whole day of work, to process the images.
Boss made me an offer I, couldn't resist plus, free drinks all night long.
Along Came Typhoon Talim
The past 24 hours, it was raining and wind blew because of Typhoon Talim.
We, didn't get hit bad but, the southernmost islands got a good whipping.
And, the storm's headed towards mainland Japan right now.
Knowing Aki, plays in a band up in Tokyo, I thought, she may be stranded up there.
Through a Facebook message, I contacted her and, here's her reply:
"Mikesan !! Live Start 9:45 PM"
That tells me, Aki's back in town and, I'd better hurry, get the camera ready and, drink beers !
Previous Posts Concerning Aki: